The predominantly Malay-Muslim government of Malaysia has arrived at its moment of crisis and conscience. Accusing Hindraf of terrorist links with the Tamil Tigers and permitting members of the government to say with impunity that Indian Malaysian citizenship needs to be revoked, brings three impossible conclusions to reasonable minds: Malaysia is either a government-sponsored terrorist organisation, a police state or a nation of lies and illusions.
Of the three, I find the third most appealing. If indeed Malaysia is a nation of lies, the truth will bring light. If indeed Malaysia is a nation of illusions, an examination of reality will bring about hope for all Malaysians.
As a Malaysian-born woman and a poet, I find it outrageous that Malay Muslim men representing the highest offices in the Malaysian government find it just to threaten the revoking citizenship of Malaysian-born Indians. This would be equivalent to the United States threatening to revoke the citizenship of African Americans.
Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has reneged his promise to lead the nation. He is the second consecutive Malay Muslim leader in my lifetime failing to grapple with his personal and political conscience. Individual Malaysians, however, through their own self-reliant efforts are proving that Malaysia is capable of yielding the kind of political talent and skill that will herald, build and breakthrough an exemplary nation.
The Malaysia Malaysians are creating will be quite unlike the United Kingdom or the United States. But it will be similar as a nation of laws with the liberties of conscience and religion afforded traditionally by Western Christian governments.